Bill Fink

Amtrak begins $28 million upgrade on sleeper cars and coaches

Last month, Amtrak began rolling out new and improved amenities and features for long-distance commuter rail cars. The $28 million upgrade project focuses on Amtrak’s single-tier Superliner fleet of single-deck railcars used on night train tracks.

Amtrak will improve more than 450 railcars over the next three years through the project, beginning with its Superliner fleet used for routes in the Midwest, South and West. Once these railcars are refurbished, the company will turn its attention to the sleeper Viewliner cars used in the East and Southeast.

By the end of the project, each Amtrak Superliner and Viewliner coach, dining car, visitor lounge, and sleeping car will be modernized.

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What should travelers expect from this latest effort by Amtrak to upgrade the passenger experience? Here’s a look at what will happen to Amtrak’s long-term routes.

Features of the new railway wagon in the rooms


Some of Amtrak’s railroad cars haven’t been updated since the 1990s – that shows. As a result, Amtrak makes the modernization a major focus of this fleet modernization.

New seat cushions and upholstery will be installed in the railway cars, along with new carpets, curtains, LED lighting and tables. In addition, every The private bedroom and walk-in closet will have fresh bedding, linens, pillows, and towels, as well as large, updated toiletries dispensers stocked with body wash, conditioner, shampoo, and soap. The latter is designed to help passengers refresh during their night flights in a more environmentally friendly manner.

“We are celebrating a new era in the customer experience of our historic routes serving the country with comfortable, affordable coach seats and private rooms,” Roger Harris, president of Amtrak, said in a statement. “These major investments in the long-distance network lay the foundation for our next decades of service.”

Related: Earn double points on Amtrak Travel this fall

Reimagined restaurant and public space upgrades


Onboard accommodations aren’t the only areas of Amtrak’s Superliner and Viewliner rail cars that are being upgraded. In addition to the updated look of the viewing areas, Amtrak is upgrading the dining experience on every train.

New seat cushions, rugs, curtains and café rolls promise to brighten the rail ride experience. Overnight travelers can expect a three-course dinner served with appropriate dinner attire settings on white tablecloths in comfortable seat dining cars. Children’s menus will also be available as well as breakfast and lunch prepared by the chefs.

“Amtrak is making many important investments to improve customer satisfaction, including restoring and reimagining the inflight dining experience with a service our customers will enjoy and our employees will be proud to provide,” Robert Jordan, Amtrak Vice President of Operations and Customer Services, said in a statement.

Related: 14 of the most scenic train journeys on earth


Amtrak’s plan to upgrade railroad cars on long-distance routes is just one part of the company’s larger strategy to increase rail travel in the United States.

In addition to starting the revamp of the Superliner and Viewliner, Amtrak has unveiled a New food and beverage menu in August for some trains with café cars; This includes those traveling through the Northeast Passage.

Only time will tell if these improvements truly resonate with passengers and make their journeys more comfortable and memorable.

For more TPG guides and news about Amtrak, check out:

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